Leaders of the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County celebrated women as Jewish leaders at the annual Lion of Judah/Crown of Esther event of the federation’s Women’s Philanthropy division.
Some 30 women gathered Sept. 23 at the East Brunswick home of Sandy Lenger, welcoming new achievers and hearing a talk on the biblical matriarchs as modern role models.
Gail Shapiro-Scott of Kendall Park and Laura Baron of Hackettstown received their Lion of Judah pins, signifying their contributions of $5,000 or more to the federation. Judy Schneider of Monroe earned a Crown of Esther for contributing at least $3,600.
Baron, formerly of Highland Park, was pinned by her mother, Adelaide Zagoren of Monroe, herself a Lion of Judah.
“Everyone here has come in the spirit of generosity to honor other wonderful women,” said Women’s Philanthropy director Audrey Napchen.
In introducing the three honorees, event cochair Lynn Sherman told them that they — much like the biblical matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah — “are Jewish heroes.”
The event’s other cochair, Arlene Frumkin, said that the contributions made by the three women “fund all kinds of causes for Jewish people locally and around the world.”
The guest speaker was Highland Park psychologist Dr. Laura Arens Fuerstein, herself a Lion of Judah, who drew on her book about the mother-daughter relationship, My Mother, My Mirror, as a basis “for putting the matriarchs in family therapy.”